REVIEW: ‘Money Shot,’ Volume 2

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Money Shot Volume 2 is published by Vault Comics, written by Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie, art by Rebekah Isaacs, colors by Kurt Michael Russel, and letters by Crank!. Having survived their recent misadventures, the cast of the internet porn sensation XXX-Plorers are ready to once more see the cosmos and get laid along the way. But when an unwanted guest threatens to put a damper on their science experiment, things go downhill quickly. Oh, and the intergalactic federation that declared humanity an unmitigated trainwreck might want them all dead. Should make for good viewing at least!

As I approached Money Shot Volume 2, I had a single significant concern on my mind. The first volume caught me by surprise with its healthy dose of meaningful commentary about relationships and politics. I worried that this second story might let these aspects wane in favor of more raunchy humor and cheap jokes. And while the raunch is still there in full force, so too is the depth of the narrative. Though this time around the relationship side of the story takes a bit of a backseat to the political commentary. The focus of most of this political commentary comes in the form of one of the most loathsome fictional politicians you have ever met. Say hello to President Luke Kirk. You are gonna hate this guy.

To fully appreciate the character of Luke Kirk one needs only picture our most former president, twenty years younger and trying to sport that “in your face” attitude every 90s mascot was rocking. If this description chills you it should. Practically every line penned for this guy by writers Seeley and Beattie is enough to make any sensible person cry out in pain. And his reasons for burdening the cast of XXX-Plorers is no worse than you might guess.

Years before Money Shot Volume 2 takes place, aliens approached earth with an offer to join an intergalactic federation called The Convalence. They quickly rescinded the offer. I won’t spoil the details, those need to be experienced. But, they are hilarious. And at President Kirk’s expense. This incident is a large part of why Kirk has stripped the budget out of space exploration, as well as why his followers protest outside the XXX-Plorers lab daily. At least till President Kirk decides he wants to take it to the aliens who humiliated him.

While the exploration of the American political scene doesn’t make any comments that haven’t been made before, it does put it in a unique light for sure. Despite how bizarre the situation becomes, and the mental gymnastics taken by some of Kirk’s followers to keep cheering for their president, I can’t say the results aren’t believable. And honestly, that realization is mildly terrifying.

Beyond the political satire of Money Shot Volume 2, this collection continues the crew’s exploration of their ever-changing emotions as they become more intertwined with each other. This emotional narrative focuses mainly on Chris and Bree’s budding relationship. How they make things work with Chris’s tendency to torpedo things before she can get bored, and the fact that her ex-boyfriend is still very much in the picture. While these themes are a secondary focus, when they are brought up the writing duo gives them their due nuance and care.

On top of these more terrestrial problems, the cast inexplicably gets drawn into an intergalactic confrontation that only they may, conveniently, be able to diffuse. The last couple of issues of this book go completely off the wall in the most incredible ways. It is completely ridiculous. And yet it is perfect for the outlandish nature of its narrative and sees that everyone gets what’s coming to them.

The art in Money Shot Volume 2 delivers a masterful visual presentation for everything this book sets out to do. From bizarre alien designs to the over-the-top emotional expressions of characters, and even the out-of-control ending that takes the story to a whole other level, artist Isaacs manages to deliver every beat without fail. The art manages to flow from outlandish to down-to-earth and real so smoothly what could feel like two distinct stories are made seamless thanks in large part to Isaacs’s wonderful art.

While Isaacs delivers the line with skill and precision, Russel’s colors are just as successful in delivering the story’s energy and character. Whether it’s an intimate bedroom scene, or a riot of aliens chasing our protagonists, every panel is awash in colors and lighting that perfectly capture their moments.

Wrapping up our look at Money Shot Volume 2 is the solid letter work byCrank!. The lettering takes the reader through the story clearly and efficiently. Along with the occasional novelty font to add some extra character to the book, the lettering delivers the story in a way that meshes with its overall energy.

So much like its predecessor, Money Shot Volume 2 delivers a strong meaningful narrative that is generously garnished with humor and raunch. If you don’t mind the plethora of sexual situations and jokes, there is a lot to enjoy in this excellent follow-up adventure.

Money Shot Volume 2 is available now wherever comics are sold.


4.5

TL;DR

So much like its predecessor, Money Shot Volume 2 delivers a strong meaningful narrative that is generously garnished with humor and raunch. If you don’t mind the plethora of sexual situations and jokes, there is a lot to enjoy in this excellent follow-up adventure.